Blackney, who started on August 1 as an assistant coach and was then was elevated to Interim Head Coach in mid-August, will become the ninth head coach in the history of the program at Missouri Southern.
“I would like to thank Jared Bruggeman, Karesa Burr, and the rest of the hiring committee for entrusting me with the outstanding opportunity to lead our Lions Softball program,” Blackney said. “When I first came to MSSU, I knew it was a special place. The student-athletes I get to work with daily and the relationships I have built across campus, have only strengthened that feeling. I am excited to build upon what we have developed so far and look forward to all that we will accomplish on and off the field in the future.”
Blackney came to Southern after two seasons with Division I George Washington University. In 2018, she helped guide the program to a record 33 wins and a return to the A-10 Championship behind a nationally ranked offense that averaged more than six runs per game. The Colonials set new program bests for batting average (.328), on-base percentage (.394), slugging percentage (.493), hits (493), runs (331), home runs (42), total bases (741), steals (108) and more.
Thanks to that impressive production, GW equaled a program record with its six A-10 postseason honorees.
In her first season in 2017, Blackney helped GW to a then-record 28 victories, including 11 in A-10 play. The Colonials set program records for hits (426), batting average (.302), RBI (243), extra-base hits (125), total bases (626), slugging percentage (.444), fewest strikeouts (201) and best fielding percentage (.964).
Blackney joined the Colonials after serving as assistant coach at the University of South Dakota for three seasons. She coached 15 All-Summit League selections, three NFCA All-Region honorees and one academic All-American for the Coyotes.
Blackney helped South Dakota amass 72 wins during her tenure and worked primarily with the hitters, leading the squad to a Summit League-record 77 home runs in 2015, ranking 17th nationally.
Prior to her stint at South Dakota, Blackney helped the Fort Wayne Mastodons in Indiana claim a Summit League Tournament Title to earn a trip to NCAA Regionals during her two years as assistant coach.
Blackney began her Division I coaching experience at Southeast Missouri State University during the 2011-12 season. She is a 2008 graduate of Truman State University where she was an All-MIAA utility player. She served as a graduate assistant coach at Division II Bemidji State University from 2009-11.
“After a national search, it was evident to myself and the search committee that the right candidate for the position was already on campus,” Bruggeman said. “Hallie has stepped in and showed not only that she was effective at handling the transition, but that she was the right person to take over the program. I have every bit of confidence in her and look forward to see what she can do with the program.”
With Blackney’s hiring, a national search for a new assistant coach will be conducted immediately.